86 Go Go Godzilla

James Sonia

Godzilla is a representation of American oppression on the world. Alternatively, in one interpretation of the character, Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001), Godzilla is an evil spirit inhabited by the souls of those who died during Japan’s invasion of China and Korea during WW2. In the clip below, you can see Godzilla make landfall on an unsuspecting town and devastate it. He shows no mercy and no discrimination in his rampage, much like the Japanese Imperial Army showed no mercy and discrimination during such “conflicts” during the war like The Rape Of Nanjing. The brutalization of these villagers at the hands of the soldiers is highly reminiscent of the treatment of natives during the prime days of colonialism and colonization. As Anne McClintock writes in her essay “The Angel Of Progress”, “[i]nternal colonization occurs when the dominant part of a country treats a group or region as it might a foreign country, Imperial colonization, by extension, involves large-scale, territorial domination of the kind that gave late Victorian Britain and the European lords of humankind control 85% of the Earth…”(1188). Events perpetrated by the Japanese during WW2 are examples of modern-day imperial colonization to a degree so severe that it almost makes the exploitation of the Congo look like Disneyland. These events happen in GKM: All Monsters Attack, and it causes the rise of a giant indestructible evil lizard to roam the country side, forcing the Japanese people to atone for their ancestors’ sins. This is such a departure from traditional Godzilla lore as well; the filmmakers clearly wanted to convey a message of never forgetting the sins of the past, or they will come back to haunt you…in the form of a giant evil lizard. I mean, Godzilla in this movie is so evil that KING GHIDORAH is the good guy, and I know that probably means nothing to most people, but in every other Godzilla movie, King Ghidorah is the bad guy, like a genocidal space dragon. It kinda works like this: imagine Godzilla is Superman. King Ghidorah is the Lex Luthor to his Superman, and when Lex Luthor is the good guy, you’re in trouble. That is how important the message of the film is. Superman is evil now, because we as a society did unspeakably evil things during this war.



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The Student Theorist: An Open Handbook of Collective College Theory Copyright © 2018 by James Sonia is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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